Gratitude and moving from victim to student

The subject of gratitude has been a topic of discussion quite a bit for me lately – which I”m grateful for because it’s got me thinking and has made me more aware of the importance it plays in my life!

I find my life runs smoother, seems to flow better when I’m aware of all the little synchronicities that happen throughout the day – especially if I throw out a “Thank you” to show I’ve noticed and I’m grateful for it.

The challenge is to be grateful when things don’t seem to be going the way I want.  “Everything happens for a reason” comes to mind.  When what I think needs to happen doesn’t, it feels like the world is working against me. In reality, if I am willing to be patient and see how everything unfolds, it’s possible a situation works out better for me than it would have if everything leading up to it had gone MY way.  There is also that possibility a delay could have kept me out of harms way;  I don’t know what might have occurred had I made every green light instead of every red…maybe I would have ended up in the wrong place at the right time.

This train of thought led me to realize when things don’t go as well as planned I’d be better off to take the role of student – not victim; in other words – instead of looking at the situation that arises as happening TO me, look at it as an opportunity to learn from. Which then led to…

I need to be willing to take full responsibility for myself and actions I’ve chosen – if an action is taken because of a sense of obligation or I feel forced because of circumstance, it is still ultimately me who chose it .

I’ve been reading a book which suggests looking at how we feel to be a good marker of whether we are making choices that are in alignment with our greater good.  The author makes it seem quite black and white…feel good, wonderful choice, feel bad, wrong choice.  It would be nice if that was the case, but if I followed that line of reasoning I probably wouldn’t have a job right now!! It would feel really good to stay in bed for an extra hour or so everyday, but I’m sure my employer wouldn’t be too thrilled 😐 Although there is a chance I would only feel good briefly, say, while I was sleeping, and then when I woke up, the guilt would invade, which of course would be a clear sign I had made a poor choice. 😦

There are a lot of books advising us to take full responsibility for ourselves and our actions.  The way I see it, blaming of others for our circumstances actually makes us victims of our circumstances…which means we’ve given away our power to those circumstances, be it a single person, a company or whatever else is being blamed. We aren’t in control of the situation, so we are powerless.  I sure don’t want that!!  I feel it’s in my best interest to own up to where I am in life, take the responsibility and learn from it (student behavior); proving I have the power to change my life! 🙂

I feel I have a good life right now. Do I have everything all under control? No way! But I do feel I’m blessed with many special people and some wonderful experiences.  Do I struggle to learn the lessons? I’ll say I do! In many areas I have had to repeat class over and over again.  Thank goodness there doesn’t seem to be a limit on how many times you can have a do-over!  Even when I think I know the curriculum, I still seem to fail!  Test anxiety maybe?  Which would mean fear, which is a whole other topic!!

Something I’ve noticed though….life is great when it’s great…but I’m not too sure how much I’m learning at those times.  When life is difficult and I have to plow my way through whatever circumstance I’ve gotten myself into, that seems to be when the learning takes place.  In order to make those times when I feel like a full time student a little easier, I would do well to remember to count my blessings everyday in order to not feel overwhelmed by the full course load.

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